Jackson County prosecutors today charged a student wearing a bullet-resistant vest with slashing the throat of a dean at the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley just 20 minutes before Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was scheduled to speak there.
Prosecutors charged Casey Brezik, of Raytown, with two counts of first-degree assault and two counts or armed criminal action in connection with the 9:35 a.m. attack on the second floor of the Humanities Building on the campus at 3210 Southwest Trafficway.
Al Dimmitt Jr., the campus dean of instruction, was taken to a hospital, where his injuries were not considered life-threatening.
MCC Chancellor Mark James suffered a nick to the chest during the attack, according to court records. James helped wrest the knife away from the attacker, witnesses said.
Kansas City police were investigating whether the attack was originally intended for Nixon because of the bullet-resistant vest and Brezik’s political views, including recent rants on his Facebook page.
About an hour before the stabbing, Brezik posted an update that said: “Pharaoh let my people go! We have but two options.” In earlier postings, he referred to himself as a radical and posted several updates challenging people to take a stand, including being willing to “lay your life on the line.”
He was also arrested in June for spitting on an officer during a protest at a G-20 summit, according to his Facebook page.
Nixon’s talk was planned for 10 a.m. It was canceled. Nixon had just arrived at the Wheeler Downtown Airport when the incident happened, a spokeswoman said.
Before the attack, the suspect had walked into a large room with multiple computer labs where the press conference was to be held “acting crazy,” one witness said. He briefly grabbed the microphone and said “Check, check, check” and “Can you hear me?” before leaving the area near the podium.
An administrative assistant at the college saw the suspect acting suspiciously, moving slowly around the computer room and playing with a butterfly knife in his left hand. Another witness said the suspect was pacing back and forth.
The assistant told Dimmitt that they should notify security. They believed the suspect overheard them and when Dimmitt left the room to call security, the suspect charged at him in a “full sprint,” police said.
The suspect caught up with Dimmitt in the hallway just outside the lab and stabbed him several times. The dean collapsed to the floor. Students and faculty rushed to his aid and applied pressure to the wound with some using paper towels. Faculty members fetched a first aid kit from a nearby room and used those supplies as well, witnesses said.
Other people in the hallway tackled the suspect and twisted his hand, forcing him to release the knife.
The suspect — dressed all in black — appeared to be under the influence of drugs, police said. Officers found marijuana in his front pocket.
Other students described him as having demonic tattoos and said he had written symbols on a wall poster before the incident began. Brezik reportedly has a tattoo on his hand of an “A” with a circle around it — an anarchist symbol.
Relatives referred to Brezik as an “anarchist” when they reported him missing to Raytown police last year.
Brezik’s Facebook page paints a portrait of an angry man. He had 26 friends and bragged in June about being the first person arrested at the G-20 Summit.
“Crossed the security fence. Ran from the cops. Was tackled. Spit on an officer. Was arrested, charged, and deported. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,” he wrote.
Last week, Brezik posted a story about a small Florida church whose members planned to burn copies of the Quran. Then on Monday, Brezik wrote: “This is now a Holy war. Scriptures have been desecrated. War U can’t handle. Make a choice and quick.”
College officials were waiting to greet Nixon and witnessed the attack, authorities said. Police interviewed at least 15 witnesses.
Nixon had planned to discuss details of $57.6 million in funds awarded to expand high-speed broadband access in Missouri, including at seven community colleges. He is scheduled to talk more about the topic this afternoon in Springfield, Mo., and Camdenton, Mo.
A governor’s spokesman said they had “no comment” on whether the attack was aimed at Nixon.
Original Article can be found at: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/09/14/2222665/penn-valley-deans-throat-slashed.html
By CHRISTINE VENDEL and MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS
College Campuses across the U.S. face the daily threat of violence from the wide variety of students, faculty, and staff that fill their campuses. College Campuses are taking every measure to combat this and keep their campuses safe. One way, is to have potential students screened for their background before they are accepted by the college. Educators can learn more about a Student Screening Program here.